Page 22 - Bell and Baldwin's HD-4
ISSUE : Issue 21
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/12/1
Bell and Baldwin's HD-4 CONTINUED FROM BACK COVER The original HD-4 • weight over 10,000 pounds- Ms. Quance continues; -underway and riding only on its foils. (Photograph by Gilbert Grosvenor) Their original idea was to design an air? craft that would take off from the water. At that point the Aerial Experimental As? sociation had already built three aircraft. Firstj Bell had built a giant kite • Cygnet I • with which they had experimented in December of 190?, and it had flown carry? ing a man, Thomas Selfridge. But then the kite came down into the water and because neither, Selfridge nor the men in the tow- boat realized how close to the water it was, they didn't cut the towing line and the kite was destroyed. Bell had agreed that each member of the association should have a chance to design a plane. So after the kite was destroyed, they had moved the headquarters of the association to Ham- mondsport, N. Y., and built three planes there: the Red Wing and the White Wing and the Jvine Bugj which won the Scientific A- merican Trophy. And at that point Bell had gone back to Baddeck for the summer. And he asked Casey Baldwin to come back to Baddeck to work with him, because Bell was still very anxious to design a tetrahedral airplane. Those which the A.E.A. built in Hammondsport were bi-plane, a more conven? tional type of plane • and Bell was very anxious to put his ideas concerning a tet? rahedral type of plane into a powered form. So they decided to work on the possibility of building an aircraft that would take off from the water and which would have a boat hull • and to facilitate take-off they wanted to design a hydrofoil boat. The i- dea would be that the boat would start off with aerial propellers and it would rise up on its hydrofoils and then it would take off from the water. They did some ex- Cape Breton • & Magazine/22 periments in I908 and I909. They built hy? drofoil crafts but the projected tetrahe? dral airplane was never completed. Experiments were still continuing in the spring of I9IO • at which time the Bells decided to go on a world tour. Casey Bald? win and his wife accompanied them. And in the spring of I9II. after having travelled around the world, they were in Italy • and they went to see Forlanini's experiments on Lake Maggiore. You see, a lot of other people who were interested in aviation were also interested in hydrofoils. Bell and Baldwin rode on Forlanini's experimen? tal craft and came back very enthusiastic about the idea • and they were now thinking of designing hydrofoil boats, not just de? signing an amphibious airplane. HD stands for Hydrodrome. This was a par? allel with the term aerodrome which Bell used to refer to aircraft. And HD-4 stands for the fourth in the series. When they built the HD-4, what they wanted was a craft that could be used as a sub-chaser • they had that in mind. They hoped either the British or American navy would pur? chase it. In its trials for the British Admiralty, the HD-4 set a world speed rec? ord for watercraft • and this is the period to which the full-size model has been con? structed . Arnold Roos, historian. Parks Canada: Af? ter the early experiments, Bell reduced his work with hydrofoils when Canada de? clared war, because he was a U. S, citizen and the U. S. was still neutral. Experi-
Cape Breton's Magazine